My Favorite Things

Quote of the Week
"Diplomacy is to do and to say the nastiest thing in the nicest way." ~ Isaac Goldberg 

Favorite Movies
1. Paths of Glory (Kirk Douglas)
This Kubrick classic exemplifies the art of storytelling in film.  Every viewing yields new treasures.  A must see by this master of the medium.
2. Educating Rita (Michael Caine, Julie Walters)  Dynamite performances all around, and Caine at his best, in a story that avoids cliche, contains depth and charm while being utterly entertaining.
3. The Truman Show (Jim Carey) Original, remarkable, profound
4. Chariots of Fire Inspirational without being insipid. One of the great music soundtracks as well.
5. The Trip to Bountiful (Geraldine Page) One of those "I wish I could write like that" movies. Tennessee Williams caliber screen play, but more heart warming than gut wrenching.
6. Groundhog Day (Bill Murray) A masterpiece.  Really.
7. The Mission (Jeremy Irons, Robert DeNiro, Liam Neeson) Challenges our notions of what it means to be live the life of faith in a fallen world.
8. It's a Wonderful Life (Jimmy Stewart)  This Frank Capra classic stands the test of time. This is indeed "what it's all about." 
9. Field of Dreams (Kevin Costner)  What a wonderful film.  Just watched it again and forgot how good it was.  So many great lines.  Go the distance!
10. Cool Hand Luke   (Paul Newman)  Another fifties classic that still holds up after all these years. 

Strictly for the fun of it.
1. BeetleJuice (Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton & more)  A Tim Burton film with all that it implies, but Keaton steals the show.
2. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Michael Caine and Steve Martin) 
3. A Fish Called Wanda   (John Cleese, Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Palin) 
4. Zelig (Woody Allen) Brilliant and original.

Seven of my Favorite Writers in Recent Years
1. Jorge Luis Borges
2. Graham Greene
3. Andre Gide
4. Elmore Leonard
5. C. S. Lewis
6. Rainer Maria Rilke
7. Par Lagerkvist

Six of my Favorite Writers in Earlier Years
1. Joseph Conrad
2. Ernest Hemingway
3. Thomas Mann
4. Herman Hesse
5. Anton Chekhov
6. Jack London

Favorite Quotes for Writers

Favorite Short Stories
If I were to assemble an Anthology...
1. The Bet by Anton Chekhov
2. A Piece of Steak by Jack London
3. The Lagoon by Joseph Conrad
4. The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad
5. The Book of Sand by Jorge Luis Borges
6. The Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges
7. There Are More Things, again by Borges
8. The Harness, by John Steinbeck
9. Here We Are, by Dorothy Parker
10. The Doctor & the Doctor's Wife, by Ernest Hemingway

PLUS (Must be mentioned): The Mirror and the Mask, by Jorge Luis Borges

Favorite Novellas
1. The Tenth Man, by Graham Greene
2. Of Mice and Men, by Steinbeck
3. Barabbas, by Par Lagerkvist
4. Theseus, by Andre Gide
5. A River Runs Through It, by Norman Maclean
6. Isabelle, by Andre Gide
7. Seize the Day, by Saul Bellow
8. Death in Venice, by Thomas Mann
9. The Sybil, by Par Lagerkvist
10. The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis
11. Mr. Majestyk, by Elmore Leonard
12. Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

Four Novels That Especially Made an Impression On Me When I First Read Them
1. Martin Eden, by Jack London
2. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
3. The Old Gringo, by Carlos Fuentes
4. Too Late the Phalarope, by Alan Paton

Three Novels of Sixty Years Ago That Reveal Remarkable Prescience
1. 1984, by George Orwell
2. Brave New World, by Aldous Huzley
3. That Hideous Strength, by C.S.Lewis

Books on my Shelf That I Started But Will Probably Never Finish
1. War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy
2. Rememberance of Things Past, by Marcel Proust
3. The Agony and the Ecstasy, by Irving Stone
4. The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner

Three Favorite Cities in Mexico
1. Guanajuato
2. Cuernavaca
3. Tepotzlan

Favorite Pieces of Short Classical Music
1. Ruhe Sanft, by Mozart
2. None But The Lonely Heart, by Tchaikovsky
3. On Earth As It Is In Heaven, by Ennio Morricone
4. Adagio opus 11, by Samuel Barber
5. Concerto for Clarinet in A Major K622, by Mozart
6. Ballade No. 1 in G minor, by Chopin
7. Concerto for Piano & Orchestra, No 1 Op. 11, by Chopin
8. Sonata for Piano No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, Pathetique, Adagio, by Beethoven,
9. Elvira Madigan, by Mozart
10. Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, Second Movement

Most Memorable Anniversary Dinner
J.J. Charlies', Monterrey, Mexico, 1981

Three Favorite Bible Passages
1. Matthew 25:31-45
2. James 1:27
3. Psalm 138:8

Two Turtledoves
And a Partridge in a Pair Tree

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